Make America Greener: Biden’s “Ambitious” Climate Plan Gets Senate Nod. The US Senate on Sunday approved Joe Biden’s ambitious climate, tax, and health care proposal after 18 months of arduous discussions and a long night of debate. This was a big victory for the president before the pivotal midterm elections.
The $430 billion spending proposal was adopted by Democrats in a unanimous vote and with Vice President Kamala Harris’s tie-breaking vote. It will now move to the House of Representatives next week, where it is anticipated to pass before being signed into law by Vice President Biden.
The plan, which was developed in sensitive discussions with members of his Democratic Party’s conservative wing, would contain the largest US investment in climate change ever: $370 billion, with the goal of achieving a 40% reduction in greenhouse gas emissions by 2030.
Make America Greener: Biden’s “Ambitious” Climate Plan Gets Senate Nod. That would give Biden a resounding success on one of his main priorities and help the US regain its position as the world’s leader in addressing the climate crisis.
Biden praised the bill’s passing, stressing the effort that went into it while also acknowledging that not everyone was pleased with the outcome.
“It required a lot of concessions. The majority of the time, significant things are done. This should be passed by the House as soon as possible, and I am looking forward to signing it “said the president in a statement.
The proposed legislation would grant regular Americans a tax credit of up to $7,500 when they buy an electric vehicle and a 30% reduction when they put solar panels on their roofs.
Additionally, it would contribute millions to the preservation and protection of forests, which have been progressively destroyed in recent years by wildfires brought on by extreme heat waves that experts believe are a result of global warming.
A plan that is vehemently opposed by some liberal Democrats who have, however, accepted this as a least-bad choice after months of agitation, would also give billions of dollars in tax credits to some of the nation’s worst polluting companies to aid their transition to greener techniques.
Biden, who ran for office on a platform of broad reforms, has had his expectations dashed, then raised, and then dashed once more.
Since Democrats have a slim majority in the Senate, moderates like Joe Manchin of West Virginia, who had previously used that ability to thwart Vice President Biden’s much more comprehensive Build Back Better proposal, now have a virtual veto.
However, the West Virginian, whose state’s economy is strongly dependent on coal mining, was able to reach a compromise with Chuck Schumer, the Senate Democratic leader, in late July.
Finally, senators started discussing the text on Saturday.
Late in the day, senators began the lengthy “vote-a-rama” process, in which members can submit a large number of amendments and demand a vote on each one.
This gave both Republicans, who believe Biden’s plan is too expensive, and liberal Democrats, who believe it does not go far enough, the opportunity to express their opposition.
Senator Bernie Sanders, a prominent progressive, seized that opportunity throughout the evening to put out a number of changes that would enhance the law’s social tenets, which were significantly eroded during the lengthy negotiation process.
The law would allocate $64 billion for health care programs and assure that some prescription prices, which can be up to ten times higher in the United States than in some other wealthy nations, would be reduced.
But progressive Democrats long ago had to give up their ambitions for free preschool and community colleges and expanded healthcare for the elderly.
“Millions of seniors will continue to have rotten teeth and lack the dentures, hearing aids or eyeglasses that they deserve,” Sanders said from the Senate floor. “This bill, as currently written, does nothing to address it.”
But fellow Democrats, eager to pass the legislation ahead of November midterms when control of Congress is at stake, have rejected any change in the text.
To help offset the plan’s massive spending, it would reduce the US deficit through a new 15-percent minimum tax on companies with profits of $1 billion or more — a move targeting some that now pay far less.